With your nail polish!
I never used to paint my nails. It took forever, they got dinged up and chipped, and then the polishes got all gloopy and became useless anyways. As for today, comments are made about my giant basket of polishes gleaming on my bedside table. I have quite a few now that all get used regularly. Why the change? Because of three magic potions I picked up at Sally Beauty Supply for pretty cheap, which will save you the money you thought you wasted on nail polishes that never get used or are too thick.
This junk is seriously amazing, and I paid about $3.99 for the bottle. Just a couple of drops into a nail polish that is too gloppy and thick, shake up the bottle, and it turns into the smooth, thin magical color you would actually use. This saved my white nail polishes -- for some reason, those have always given me trouble by going on in blobs from the brush and not spread out all nice and cute. This made them work! It also saved some polishes I've had for a while that were aging a bit, giving them extra life. Do it.
My other biggest issue was hitting a nail on something while it was still wet, ruining all my hard work. Nail polish on its own takes forever to dry. I wanted to give up. But my sweet friend Amanda introduced me to this topcoat, which is insane at speeding up drying and making your nail polish stay good for days and days. I can't go without it anymore. Again, I bought a bottle of this last semester and it got super thick, and the previously mentioned thinner restored it. Good to go. Definitely worth about $4.50.
This is the final touch on my nail drying process. It's an aerosol spray that does not smell chemical; it sort of smells like dry shampoo or something similar. It has nourishing vitamins and conditions your cuticles, so it doesn't just do your polish and dry the rest of you out. It only takes a little per hand, for about $3.50. Why not?
All in all, a way to have good-looking hands on a budget; your nails will come out looking about as nice as a professional manicure for a lot cheaper. If you get a rewards card at Sally Beauty Supply, you'll be rolling in even more dough. (I am a rewards FIEND.) Stay beautiful on the cheap!